Should I future proof, and buy the 3.2 27??

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Overg, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    #1
    I saw in apple site that from some reason, there is almost no options to CPU or gpu upgrade in the 27 base model.
    I was wondering is this apple tactic? or that indeed there is hardware diffrence on the board that prevent apple or any lab for that matter to upgrade it?
    If this is the case then I must buy the pricier 27 just in case I want to upgrade in the future.

    Anyone know?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #2
    No such thing as future-proofing...

    Apple's job is to make money, so of course they make the biggest upgrades require purchasing a higher-end model...

    If you need the 3.2 model then get it... anonymous Internet strangers can't make decisions for you...

    Did I miss anything?
     
  3. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #3
    They've always bundled configurations, although the cpu choices for most purposes are virtually identical. i5 vs i7 is the difference of hyperthreading. By the time you're looking at upgrading, the cheapest 21" will have a faster cpu than the fastest current 27". I would just not worry about it. Upgrading cpus provides longevity for very few people anyway. Upgrading the gpu here is even more pointless. Even if you can find one of the higher end ones, they'll always be expensive. The high end mobile gpus are always difficult to find after market, and the prices tend to be higher than you'd spend just speccing it that way now. A 6970m from last year currently runs around $350-400 on ebay, and I'm not sure if those will work in Macs. They were alienware upgrade kits.

    Haswell will change sockets, so you couldn't use those cpus. You can't use a 6 core. This is the fastest cpu for that socket type.

    If you're looking for something designed to be opened, you're better off with a gaming machine or a do it yourself build. Most of the people who really go as far as upgrading their own cpus are not afraid to build these things from scratch.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    #4
    As others have said, "future-proofing" is pretty much a myth. It used to be a bit easier in the days where CPU sockets remained the same for many generations and speed improvements were mostly through clock speed gain. These days to get big bumps in performance means new architectures and other improvements that mean you can't just drop a new chip in, nor does a relatively small gain in speed within a generation mean a computer will last much longer than with a slightly slower processor.

    That said, buy whatever you need. Personally I went for the i7. It should be a fair bit faster for video encoding and compiling source code, both of which I dabble in. If you do that sort of work, then it may be valuable to you. Otherwise the base model should be sufficient (frankly, it's still very fast — I spoiled myself with the i7, but I know I'd be perfectly happy with the base model). I think the 3.2 GHz i5 isn't really worthwhile at all — if you want CPU speed, the i7 delivers much more bang for the buck, otherwise get the base model. The upgraded i5 will likely make a pretty minuscule difference for the money.
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    #5
    Actually the important part of the high end model is the 675mx video card which is a really significant upgrade over 660mx and not the proc speed increase. The i7 on top of that is a waste of cash since the i5 is going to sit there idle most of the time anyway.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    #6
    I think it's more accurate to say that it depends on what the computer is being used for.

    Definitely the graphics card is a nice upgrade, but only if you do graphics intensive stuff. The i7 can make a substantial difference if you're doing CPU heavy tasks like video encoding and compiling (close to 50% over the base model for well-threaded processes).

    Neither upgrade makes a lot of sense for prolonging the useful life of an iMac in general purpose use however.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    #7
    Ok great answers! :)
    However one more thing...

    Maybe the premium 27 inch is built better, ( configuration wise) means maybe there is other easy upgradable undeclared options like ssd?
    So for example in 5 years from now when ssd will be standard I could upgrade the hd to any ssd while in base model, from some reason unknow to us , it won't be possible?


    This is actually the single element left-for me before buying :)
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    #8
    The RAM in all 27" models is user-accessible. Any other upgrades (on any of the 2012 iMacs) require removing the screen and potentially voiding your warranty. It's doable, but not what I would call a simple upgrade for most people, even if they've had experience working on other computers.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    ixodes

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #9
    They're built the same. We're now into the era at Apple where they make it extremely difficult to do any upgrades.

    Forget "future proofing" that's a myth. Things move too fast now to expect more than about three years out of it before Apple makes the latest OS upgrade incompatible.

    You can still use the computer, but you'll be stuck with an old OS. Not as bad as it sounds, just something to be aware of.

    Buy only what you need now so if in two or three years you want a new one, you'll have less invested in this one.
     

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